Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Latos dominant as White Sox blank Angels

Matt Latos allowed two hits in 6 1 /3 scoreless innings and was supported by home runs from Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu in the 5-0 White Sox victory over the Angels on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Latos improved to 3-0, while his ERA dropped to 0.49. The right-hander, who has yielded six hits in 18 1/3 innings, helped the White Sox end their three-game losing streak.
"Perfect. He did a great job," said White Sox catcher Dioner Navarro of his friend and winning pitcher. "He did exactly what we needed him to do, especially us using the 'pen the way we did. We needed Matty to go long and he did an outstanding job."
Frazier, who was mired in a 2-for-23 slump over his last six games, connected on a 3-1 pitch from Angels starter Matt Shoemaker to lead off the second and produce his third long ball. Abreu, who had a 3-for-26 quagmire of his own, drove out the first pitch from Shoemaker in the fourth for home run No. 3.
"I know that all of the effort we have been putting in showed today," said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. "Probably today is the start of what we can do on the offense."
Latos held the Angels hitless until one out in the fifth, when Carlos Perez rolled an infield single up the middle. He walked three, struck out five and gave way to Matt Albers after throwing 101 pitches. Shoemaker gave up two runs over 6 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking one.
Albers extended his scoreless innings streak to 30 over 27 appearances. That streak dates back to Aug. 5, 2015. In the eighth, Melky Cabrera added a two-run triple and Brett Lawriedrove him in with a single to give the White Sox some breathing room.
"I don't think he was doing anything special," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Latos. "He was obviously hitting his spots. We had some chances and he made some pitches to get out of jams. He just pitched a good game for those guys. Outside of the first inning, when we had a couple walks and had a chance, we didn't get too many good looks at him."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Eaton fires a strike: Adam Eaton's throwing arm seems to be back at full strength after offseason shoulder surgery. Andrelton Simmons tried to test that arm on C.J. Cron's single to right with one out in the seventh, but Eaton nailed him at the plate with a perfect throw to Navarro.
"I have to give all the credit to Navvy. He did a heck of a job letting it get deep," Eaton said. "It was a heck of a tag. All the credit goes to him. You can get it there, but definitely catching the ball the way he did and holding on to it with the guy screaming down the line, a lot of credit goes to him and great overall win for the team."
"I messed up by kind of peeking to see if the ball went through," Simmons said. "That split-second might have cost us that run. So that one was on me."
Stargazing: The Angels' two biggest stars, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, have mostly been held in check early on. The two have combined to bat just .194, notching 20 hits in 103 at-bats. On Tuesday, they each went 0-for-3 with a walk. The Angels' offense is not deep enough to sustain long stretches of ineffectiveness from those two players.
"I know what I'm doing wrong," Trout said. "Last couple of games, I created a bad habit. I'm just jumping forward. My head's moving. When the pitch is coming, it's not letting me recognize the pitch. I just have to stay back, trust my hands. We're working on it." More >
Missed chance: With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, the White Sox had a chance to pad their lead. But Avisail Garcia -- hitting .156 -- fouled off a hittable 1-0 changeup and eventually popped out to right.
Shoe deals: Aside from the two solo shots, Shoemaker turned in another encouraging start, five days after one-hitting the A's through six innings. The 29-year-old right-hander gave up just four other hits and didn't give up any other runs, putting his ERA at 4.70.
"Obviously I wanted to go out there and win, but [it's a] long season," Shoemaker said. "I felt really good. Executing pitches, mixing it up."
QUOTABLE
"I go out there every fifth day and I think that nobody can touch me. That's the way you've got to look at it." -- Latos
"Everybody wants to do well. They want their average to be up, but he comes to the park to win games first and whatever he can do to help is what he's doing." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on Frazier
SIMMONS STREAKING
Simmons hit a one-out double near the left-field line in the seventh, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, the longest by any player this season. Simmons, who went 3-for-4 on Monday, is batting .278.
REPLAY REVIEW
Umpires ruled that fan interference caused Cabrera to drop Cliff Pennington's foul popup at the start of the eighth and did not overturn the call via replay, prompting the Angels to lose their challenge and enraging Scioscia. Cabrera appeared to drop the ball on his own.
"I still don't know why they didn't reverse that," Scioscia said. "The ball was dropped before the fan got anywhere near it. There was nothing that blocked his ability to get the ball, didn't block his view. He dropped the ball. I don't even know if he hit the fan's hand or not. He just dropped the ball."
SAVE THAT BASEBALL
The two perfect innings thrown by Nate Jones resulted in his first career save.
WHAT'S NEXT
Angels: Garrett Richards takes the mound Wednesday for the third of a four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field, with first pitch set for 11:10 a.m. PT. Richards has struck out 19 in 17 2/3 innings, getting charged with only seven earned runs. But the hard-throwing right-hander remains winless.
White Sox: On Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. CT, Chris Sale will try to duplicate his complete-game masterpiece thrown in front of numerous friends and family members Friday night against the Rays in St. Petersburg. The lefty struck out nine and didn't issue a walk during his two-hit shutout. Sale one-hit the Angels at home in 2013.

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